|“Beep… Beep… Beep,” the alarm goes off. Eyelids fluttering in the flashing neon lights of the alarm, you slowly open your eyes. The flickering numbers of the alarm read 0330.
“Not again!” your mind says, causing an exasperated sigh escaping your lips as you pull yourself out from deep slumber. Cool wind breezes through the open windows making you shiver as you walk towards them. With uneasiness, you vaguely recall closing them shut before heading off to bed. As you reach for the handle of the window, you hear from somewhere, outside, someone (or something) howling like an animal in pain. The soulful howling sends shivers down your spine. Goosebumps form on your arm, making the hair on the back of your neck stand on ends. Closing the window you walk towards the bathroom. You switch the light on and dim light penetrates the darkness. You squint as your reflection swims around in the mirror as the dim lighting gradually grew stronger. You come into view and you let out a gasp as you focus on your reflection.
“Surely, that can’t be me!” your mind protests. Dark circles shadow your deep-set eyes; a three-day beard crops up on your cheeks and chin; blood-shot eyes stare back at you; the rest of your face startlingly pale – you are weak. You raise your trembling hands, in disbelief, up to your face. Your reflection mimics you. As you stare at yourself in horror, your hands are no longer yours. You have claws! Your distorted fingers almost hidden in the fur of hair that has grown all over your lower arms; your nails long, sharp and curved.
You scream as you lose your balance in shock and stumble backwards, onto the floor.
You feel the change swirling around from within the core of your body. Your back curving into a shallow hunch, you claw at your now-cramping abdomen. Your break out in cold sweat as you feel your blood churn in your veins, causing your chest to constrict as your insides bend themselves into a new form – into something so very… not human. The hair on your head lengthens, forming into messy knots that can never be untangled by a mere comb.
You slowly stand up, grabbing the sides of the sink, desperately trying to see what was going on. You look into the mirror once again; you see two bloody circles on the right side of your throat. They look fresh. Funny, you cannot remember where they came from. Your mind feels hijacked as your senses heighten. Your ears taking in the haunting howling from out your locked windows, your eyes adjusting to the dimly lit bathroom, your nose sniffing in the air and your skin a mesh of itchiness from all the thick fur.
You stare at yourself, not knowing what to do. The primitive urge to join in the howling outside grips you as you turn around to leave the bathroom. You stomp back into your bedroom, leaving a trail of torn clothes behind you.
You start to feel dizzy as you claw at thin air for a sense of stability as you mutate. “Owwwwooooh!” you howl, in sync with the sounds of the night. Your human senses take over as you fight the beast within. Grabbing for the drawer bedside your bed, your human instincts compels you to reach for the syringe that you need. Fumbling, you somehow get the syringe out and you then jab the needle into your arm, the tonic immediately flowing into your veins. You lose your strength and drop the empty syringe, falling back onto the floor.
As you return back to human consciousness, you raise your head to the ringing of the alarm. Losing focus, your drowsy mind surrenders to the sluggish effect of the tonic. You look at the flickering lights and the last thing your brain registers are the numbers 0330.